Friday, April 19, 2024
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Leaders press on with Japan talks

The Pacific Islands Forum says its leaders are committed to continuing dialogue with the Government of Japan.

Also, the leaders have welcomed the proposal from the International Atomic Energy Agency, for an annual dialogue mechanism on ongoing, monitoring and evaluation of the release of nuclear wastewater into the Pacific Ocean.

In a joint-statement released by the PIFs Foreign Ministers, the leaders referred to the decision by Japan to commence with the release of Advanced Liquid Processing Systems (ALPS) treated water from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant into the Pacific Ocean, last month.

The statement said, for the Blue Pacific Continent, the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty (Rarotonga Treaty) provides the context for our engagement on nuclear issues, both in relation to non-peaceful and peaceful purposes.

The Rarotonga Treaty records the region’s determination to keep the region free of environmental pollution by radioactive wastes and other radioactive matter.

In 2021, the leaders highlighted the priority of ensuring international consultation, international law, and independent and verifiable scientific assessment and committed to pursue independent guidance to interpret the scientific evidence as it becomes available.

This was reaffirmed by leaders last year and again this year.

“The Pacific Islands Forum is guided by our 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent and our ancestral role as guardians of the Pacific Ocean, which is central to our way of life and sustains over livelihood.”

“The ocean is critical to our prosperity. It is the resource that will be passed on from generation to generation. We recognise the IAEA as the authority on nuclear safety and note the report in July 2023.”

“We emphasise the need to build regional scientific capacity and monitoring capabilities to assess the health and well-being of the Pacific maritime ecosystem, including impacts on human health,” the joint-statement said.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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